Mohammad Hamid Ansari, a former diplomat and renowned intellectual, was Saturday sworn in as India's new Vice President in a simple but well-attended ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
Ansari, who has stepped down as chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities, succeeds Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who lost last month's presidential election to Pratibha Patil.
Ansari, 70, was administered the oath of office by President Patil in the function held at the Ashoka Hall of the presidential palace.
Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani and a spectrum of other political leaders attended the function.
Shekhawat too attended the ceremony that lasted barely three minutes.
Ansari will assume office as chairman of the Rajya Sabha Monday.
A candidate of the ruling UPA and the Left, Ansari bagged 455 of the 762 votes polled in a triangular contest for the post of vice president Friday.
He won by a margin of 233 votes against National Democratic Alliance's Najma Heptulla, pushing Rasheed Masood of the United National Progressive Alliance to a distant third spot.